Allocating these assets in property division depends on the couple’s age, marriage length and their careers. Longer marriages often bring more savings, investments, and other property. Couples in their 50s with substantial assets face special circumstances because they may have a byzantine combination of business and personal assets.
First, compile information. Know the value of your earnings, family assets, debt like a mortgage or loans, pensions, stocks, and other non-qualified investments. Retirement accounts such as 401ks, 403bs and individual retirement accounts and other retirement accounts will likely be divided as marital property among the spouses.
Taxes may pose additional issues. Many times, one spouse prepared and made decisions on taxes while the other spouse just signed tax documents. Each spouse should learn about their tax situation because both spouses bear the consequences of any financial decisions made when they were married.
For example, both spouses may have to pay capital gains for the sale of assets such as their home. But a spouse may be eligible for an exclusion up to $250,000 of the home sale gain while both spouses may be eligible up to a $500,000 exclusion if they both meet ownership and residence requirements.
Professional licenses for lawyers, doctors, accountants, and other professionals along with occupational certifications may play a role in property division and can be as valuable as stock. Their value also increases through continuing education and prestige. For example, a spouse may seek part of the worth of their ex-spouse’s license if they left their career to raise their children so that the other spouse could meet educational and training requirements.
A spouse needs to decide which assets they will seek to own and assets that can be traded off. The less well-off spouse may seek reasonable and temporary support for legal fees and living expenses from the court until the divorce is final.
Lawyers can help reach decisions on these matters. They can also pursue a reasonable and fair divorce decree.